Sports Innovation Helping the Mental Wellbeing in Athletes

by Nov 2, 2021Education, News

Palm Beach Currumbin (PBC) State High School student-athletes are about to embark on a new sports innovation rollout of the Like a Champion courses – Eat Like a Champion and Think Like a Champion: Self-talk. These courses are designed to enhance the wellbeing and performance of the student-athletes, with a focus on both on, and off-field improvements. 

Like a Champion – Mark II 

The Like a Champion series of courses are the brainchild of Director of Sport Neil McKay and have been designed in partnership with both PBC staff and long-time supporters of the athlete development program. This rollout of courses represents a collaborative effort by PBC staff Bec Schatz and Anna Wyatt on Eat Like a Champion, and Shiike Vanderwerff from ExecBalance on the Self-talk course. 

PBC now add to their catalogue of products with student athletes having access to five different sports innovation courses, providing choice and autonomy to engage with topics relevant to them at the time. PBC student-athletes have completed almost 250 courses in the first year of rolling out their sports tech approach and the uplift in wellbeing, engagement and performance is evident. 

The Missing Link – Nutrition 

Eat Like a Champion delves into healthy eating practices and provides students with the tools to be more effective with their nutrition choices, including some great recipes designed by PBC food tech teacher Anna Wyatt. The course was co-designed by former elite basketballer and PBC teacher Bec Schatz. 

The sports innovation course recognises that student wellbeing has never been more prevalent to focus on and identifies the missing link in wellbeing education – nutrition. Gut health and brain health are intrinsically linked, and this course helps students explore this concept and supports them in making wiser choices with their nutrition, with the goal of enhancing both their athletic performance and day to day wellbeing. 

Talking (and Walking) a Good Game 

For Shiike Vanderwerff, working alongside McKay to design the sports innovation course framework was a great way to ensure more students were able to develop effective self-talk strategies. Vanderwerff has worked with the PBC athlete development program for a number of years and this collaboration has taken some of his key learning areas into a digital environment. Self-talk is an important skill to master as it leads to greater self-awareness, confidence and performance improvement – not just in sport, but in life itself also. 

The course explores the importance of recognising negative thoughts, how to manage self-talk with effective strategies and explains the antidote to negative thinking – PETS (Performance Enhancing Thoughts). Critically, the course is designed with an action plan as its culmination, encouraging students to take their learning into their day to day lives, and athletic pursuits. 

Building a Legacy 

The PBC REDS (Rise Every Day Stronger) athlete development program is one of the most well respected in the state. This sports innovation approach ensures all athletes have access to on demand contemporary learning that will motivate them to be the best athlete, student, and person they can be. This modern approach to education takes the program to another level, elevating personal wellbeing to sit alongside athletic performance as a critical outcome of program delivery. 

With decades of experience in education, sport and technology Playbk Sports have been able to seamlessly integrate these three delivery areas to ensure a modern, fun and purposeful learning experience for students. Playbk co-founder Jon Shepherd was instrumental in the planning and delivery of the sports innovation courses, and as a former athlete recognises the important role education in the sporting environment plays at this age.  

PBC are creating their own sports tech ecosystem, which has scaled rapidly in just its first six months in operation and continues to place PBC as the standout athlete development program in Queensland

Jon Shepherd, Co-founder at Playbk Sports

The platform is now built for the school to be able to add more engaging education technology products to accelerate learning outcomes for all students and save teachers precious planning time in the process. The Like a Champion series has pioneered a new way of teaching and learning at PBC and we are incredibly excited about where we go in 2022 and beyond.” 

Meet the Presenters

To learn more about how Playbk Sports can help your organisation harness sports innovation, please get in touch with us at [email protected] or via our contact us page


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